Las Vegas (April 19, 2011) – Deal making is part of poker.  Deal making is a huge part of tournament poker.  Since players essentially front the entire prize pool, the general consensus is – when players want to make a deal, they can do as they please with their own money.

The most recent World Series of Poker Circuit event illustrated this point since the final six players agreed to a deal.  Terry Crowe was declared the champion.  For his victory, he received an official payout totaling $9,766.  More important in terms of his poker tournament resume however, Crowe was bestowed with the ultimate token of victory on the WSOP Circuit, the coveted gold ring.  This marked Crowe’s first ever WSOP-related title.

Crowe is a poker industry entrepreneur from Las Vegas.  He formally worked for the World Poker Tour.  Crowe now specializes in player endorsements and sponsorships, particularly as they relate to social media such as Twitter.  He is particularly bullish on new prospects for professional poker players, even in light of recent developments which have shaken up the online poker world and its players.  Crowe holds the belief that many players, including those who have been signed by his company, will now be motivated to reach new horizons far beyond traditional business relationships.

But Crowe was not thinking so much about his work over the past two days so much as playing tournament poker.  He came out on top in a field of 113 players, about what one expects for a mid-week Omaha High-Low field.  Crowe arrived at the final table ranked second in chips.  But he was able to play and negotiate his way to victory.

Indeed, poker is often cited as an ideal teaching tool in business negotiations.  However, in the case of Terry Crowe, it may be the reverse.  It seems his business negotiation skills may have served him very well at the poker table. 


Crowe won the $300 (+50) buy-in Omaha High-Low Split tournament, classified as Event #3.   This was the third of ten official gold ring events played this year at Caesars Palace Las Vegas.  The total prize pool amounted to $32,554.  The top 12 finishers collected prize money.  OFFICIAL RESULTS can be viewed here.

The tournament was played over two consecutive days.  After most of the starting field was eliminated on Day One, nine survivors returned for Day Two action.  Final table play began on a Tuesday afternoon in the top section of the Caesars Palace Poker Room.  The finalists and their starting chip counts were as follows:

Seat 1:  Bruce Hoyt (Gilbert, AZ) – 39,000 in chips            
Seat 2:  Chris Zurawski (Glen Ellyn, IL) – 63,000 in chips         
Seat 3:  Joseph Mitchell (Eugene, OR) – 114,000 in chips        
Seat 4:  Terry Crowe (Las Vegas, NV) – 200,000 in chips 
Seat 5:  David Jacke (Las Vegas, NV) – 196,000 in chips      
Seat 6:  Brian Wilke Colorado Springs, CO) – 97,000 in chips          
Seat 7:  Fuad Koubi (Van Nuys, CA) – 94,000 in chips
Seat 8:  Terry Stady (Albuquerque, NM) – 95,000 in chips
Seat 9:  Brian Bumpas (Los Angeles, CA) – 250,000 in chips

Final table play began at 4 pm.  Play ended at 7 pm with a deal between the final six players.  The official order of finish was as follows:

Ninth Place:  The first player to bust out was Bruce Hoyt.  Originally from the San Francisco Bay area, Hoyt is an avid fan of the Major League Baseball Giants.  He often wears their logos while playing poker.  Unfortunately, while Hoyt’s favorite team won the baseball World Series last year, he was not able to match their feat at the poker table.  Hoyt, a 60-year-old small business owner now residing in Gilbert, AZ now has six WSOP Circuit cashes (and three final table appearances) this season.  He is among the top 15 players in the national rankings at the moment and appears well on his way to qualifying for a seat in the National Championship.

Eighth Place:  Finishing in ninth place was Chris Zurawski, a 40-year-old business owner from the Chicago area.  Zurawski has numerous previous tournament cashes on his poker resume, including in-the-money finishes at the WSOP in Las Vegas.  This marks the fifth time he has cashed on the WSOP Circuit.

Seventh Place:  Joseph Mitchell finished in seventh place.  Little is known about Mr. Mitchell, who is something of a mystery man.    

Sixth Place:  Sixth place went to Brian Wilke, from Colorado Springs, CO.  He is a software engineer.  Most of Wilke’s accomplishments have taken place in online poker.  This was his first appearance in the money in a WSOP-related tournament.  He does have a final table appearance on the Heartland Poker Tour.

Fifth Place:  Faud Koubi is no stranger to the poker tournament scene.  The Lebanese-born poker pro is a fixture at major events throughout the U.S.  Koubi’s trademark is his chauffer’s cap, usually accompanied by a colorful shirt emblazoned with cards or dice.  Koubi rolled his point in this tournament, coming out in fifth place.  He is a 52-year-old pro from Van Nuys, CA.  Koubi is on a hot streak at the moment.  He has played in only 12 tournaments since the start of the year, and has cashed in 7 of them, including one victory

Fourth Place:  Terry Stady took fourth place.  He is a 67-year-old retiree from Albuquerque, NM.  This was only his second time to cash in a major poker tournament, and first occasion to collect money on the WSOP Circuit.

Third Place:  Brian Bumpas, from Long Beach, CA took third place.  He has numerous previous cashes in poker tournaments in the Los Angeles area. 

Second Place:  David Jackie, from Las Vegas, NV was the runner up.   

First Place:  Terry Crowe became the latest WSOP Circuit champion.  He earned his second major tournament victory and first WSOP Circuit gold ring.  Crowe’s previous win took place last year at the Legends of Poker, in Los Angeles.  Crowe has accumulated an impressive resume for a part-time tournament player.  He now 19 major cashes.  One of those in-the-money finishes was in the HORSE tournament at last year's WSOP. 

Crowe now joins previous gold ring winners Giuseppe Biancoviso (Event 1) and Randy Huberty (Event 2) at the top of the leaderboard as early point leaders in the Best-All Around race for the Caesars Palace series.  The player who accumulates the most overall points in the ten gold ring tournaments receives a pre-paid entry into the $1 million 2010-2011 WSOP Circuit National Championship, to be held at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, next month.  At least two players from Caesars Palace will qualify for the WSOP gold bracelet event.

There are seven more gold ring events remaining.  The WSOP Circuit at Caesars Palace continues through April 30th.  This year’s schedule includes ten gold ring events, along with multiple second-chance tournaments, single table and mega satellites, plus cash games going around the clock inside the Caesars Poker Room.  The FULL SCHEDULE can be viewed here.
SPECIAL NOTE:  EVENT #4, which is a $350 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em tournament, began on the day this event concluded and attracted 500 players.  The remainder of the WSOP Circuit at Caesars Palace appears headed for strong numbers.